A Common Language for a Common People

     Having spent four years as one of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children I remembered a boot camp lecture given by my former D.I. pertaining somewhat loosely to foreign languages.

     It is much more difficult to kill a man when you share a common language. When you can sit down with him and talk about your families, your children, your loved ones. When you can speak about your beliefs and your values. When you can share your principles and your moral code. When you can relate your joys and your sorrows, your triumphs and your defeats. When you can communicate how much alike you are, you forge a bond. He becomes you, and you understand that this is a human life that you must take. It becomes much more difficult to kill him. 

     However, when the adversary you are facing does not speak your language. When he is not able to communicate with you in an intelligent fashion. When the sounds coming out of his mouth are incomprehensible and annoying. When you perceive him as something less than a man. Something less than a human. Something not much more than an animal. It becomes much easier to do your duty, to fulfill your obligation, and to live with it afterward.

(The above statement does not imply, in any way, shape or form, any advocacy for killing people who do not speak English. So don't bother sending me your e-mails berating me for being a racist. I'm not a racist, I'm an American.)

     American society has traditionally been a melting pot. We welcome people from all over the world. However, we do expect them to contribute to our society and to accept the responsibilities of being an American.

Basically, most of us are foreigners here. We have all been outsiders at some point in time. Every immigrant population has had to face very similar prejudices and hardships. 

It is natural to want to live in the culture you know, to want to live in the world as you know it. But only when you relinquish your foreign beliefs and attitudes can you be truly accepted.

     Americans do not trust outsiders. We do not trust those that do not share our core beliefs. We do not trust those who do not cherish the rights that generations have given up their sons for. And we do not trust those that refuse to join us in our common culture. 

Those who refuse to accept the fact, that part of being an American, is speaking the English language, can never be fully accepted. This is because they cannot fully communicate their understanding and love of freedom.. We do not know if they too embrace the American ideal.